Richard Hammond has kept with promises and reviewed the new Land Rover Defender, and he has brought his dog along with him. After 62 thousand tests and 1.2 million kilometers of test drives later, the new Defender is finally ready for the road. In the video below, Hammond takes the Land Rover through some practical road tests.
Hammond was impressed with the interior of the car. He said, “It does feel kind of rugged in here it doesn’t feel like it will be ruined in the first week at least.” The Defender Hammond drove is the D240, which has a 4 cylinder turbo diesel that puts out 237 horsepower, with a 0-60 time that he says “is not much under 10 seconds.” However, this is the least powerful engine that will be available in the car. The D240 engine has already been replaced with a more powerful turbo-diesel. There is also a rumor that there will be a hybrid model coming soon.
One of the more negative aspects of the car is the wind noise that the massive mirrors create. Hammond says, “door mirrors this size means I can hear them because it’s like pushing two kitchen doors forwards through the air, there is wind noise.”
Hammond then takes us back to the car that put the Defender on the map, the Series 1 Land Rover. He said, “this is where it all started. When this car arrived, it rewrote the rule book on what a car could be. It became a multi-purpose tool. Yes, it could drive off the roads, but it could work. It could pull a plow thanks to the power take-off, it could run farm implements.
“And it could get you places nothing else would get you.” T
his elite pedigree certainly puts the new model under the microscope as it bears the legendary Land Rover Defender name. Naturally, then it should at least sort of resemble what the original car represented. This is where the problems begin for Hammond.
He says. “It’s not for farmers; it’s for this, a brief escape to the outdoors and scurry back to a life that thankfully for most of us can be more comfortable and more luxurious than anything that could have been imagined at the time of the Land Rovers original launch when a tea tray with handles was considered a luxury that could make you soft.”
This new Defender is a far cry from what the Series 1 could do and what it represented. Perhaps that’s why Richard doesn’t even think this car deserves the Defender name. He said, “Oh and Land Rover, one final thing, why didn’t you finish the job properly and put a Discovery badge on it. Because that’s what this is. This is the best Discovery you have ever built; you just put the wrong name on it.”